You did it, you scored a job interview! Now that you’ve researched the company, prepared your “about me” spiel, and come up with questions to ask your interviewer, I have a very important question for you: What are you going to wear?
Job interviews are stressful enough as it is. You’re trying to make the best impression possible, and your head is filled with pre-planned, thoughtful answers to any questions they might ask. But you also want to come across as relaxed, down-to-earth, and fun – all at the same time. It’s not easy, but with enough preparation and practice, you’re going to nail it. A big factor in acing a job interview is confidence, and it’s a lot easier to feel confident when you’re wearing a killer outfit!
You still need to keep it professional, of course, but dressing professionally doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Quite the opposite! Company cultures and dress codes have come a long way in the last 20 years. If you’re applying for a job at a law firm or an accounting company, then chances are you’ll at least have to wear something more traditionally professional (though not always!).
If you’re in a creative field or working in a more “hip” industry like tech, however, then there might not be a dress code at all. Maybe all of your future co-workers show up to the office in jeans. Or, if it’s a fully remote job, then you could even work in a comfy (but chic) matching set!
Remember that you don’t have the job yet though. So even if it’s a fully remote job and you intend to wear yoga pants every day, you still want to show up to the interview looking professional and put-together.
Do some research about the company’s culture, maybe stalk a few LinkedIn profiles or the company’s social media, and try to assess what your potential employer’s “vibe” is. Once you’ve established what’s expected of the employees who work there, you’ll have a better idea of what direction to go in when choosing your interview outfit. Here are some tips for every possibility:
“Casual” can mean something different to everyone. I have one friend whose idea of casual is a pretty sundress with wedges, and another who thinks casual means ripped jeans and a 10-year-old T-shirt. For the purposes of a job interview, let’s err on the side of caution and say casual can include jeans, but they should be in very good condition and contain no holes or tears.
If you’re going to wear jeans, then it’s a good idea to dress them up a bit. Pair them with a nice top, maybe a blazer, and a more formal shoe.
This is a great way to give off a breezy vibe while also making it clear that you’re here to work and know how to get down to business.
One style of dress that’s always been a pain for me is the ever-elusive “business casual.” It’s the vague space somewhere between jeans and pantsuits that’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it.
Depending on the weather, a nice sweater and/or a blazer are great options for a more business casual look, but make sure you pair them with formal pants or a skirt, and a nice heel or bootie.
Business doesn’t always require a blazer either! A dressier blouse and cropped slacks are another nice look. Remember that even if you go with a more conservative or traditional outfit, you can utilize accessories like belts, bags, and jewelry to show off your personal style while still dressing the part.
If you’re interviewing in an extremely professional environment, then you’ll want to step it up and dress to impress. This could involve more traditional items like a dress, pantsuit, or classic pencil skirt.
However, just because you’re dressing professionally doesn’t mean you need to look drab! Aside from accessories, another great way to show your personality is by wearing vibrant colors.
Is It In-Person or Via Zoom?
If your job interview is via zoom, then you know what that means: Business on the top, party on the bottom. And by party, I mean sweatpants! For the waist-up, the same general guidelines stated above still apply here. You could wear yoga pants, pair them with a nice blouse and blazer, and be set for pretty much any kind of job interview.
One pro tip: Even though they won’t see you from the waist down, it’s not a bad idea to still dress the full part – including pants or a skirt and shoes. Wearing a full outfit will help you get more into the professional mindset and feel more confident in yourself. And confidence, as we discussed before, is key.
Remember that it’s always better to be overdressed rather than underdressed. If you’ve researched to the best of your abilities and you’re still uncertain about what you should wear, then round up! Dress a little bit more formally than you think is necessary. Don’t wear a ballgown, but you can rarely go wrong with a blazer, sleek blouse, and a nice pair of slacks. Pair it with cute heels, and you’ll be unstoppable. Good luck! Love Evie? Let us know what you love and what else you want to see from us in the official Evie reader survey.